DSDM Project Management Roles and Responsibilities

DSDM Project Management

DSDM is an iterative lifecycle that is often misunderstood. Lately, the roles and responsibilities of the DSDM Project Manager have been getting some attention, mainly with project managers wanting to deliver services in DSDM asking what exactly they are supposed to do.

DSDM doesn’t start at a particular point in time but should be seen as a continuous process which should also be applied to project management. The following diagram shows a typical role allocation using one or more people:

DSDM Team Members report to the overall Project Sponsor irrespective of their day-to-day activities. Whether you need all these roles depends on your needs and how many people you have available. Of course you can always use Coaches for other functional tasks as well as DSDM.

A DSDM project is driven by four roles

The Facilitator and the Sponsor should ensure that all stakeholders are represented, and that their views and requirements are considered and accommodated. They may also be part of or bring in an External Expert to the team to provide feedback on process, product, training and marketing issues. The Facilitator’s role includes creating a safe environment for people to become involved in the project. This involves setting up the meeting room so that it has sufficient space for everyone to sit comfortably round a large table with writing pads and enough pens etc., for everybody; providing clear notice boards with information about who is doing what; ensuring prompt arrival at meetings so as not to waste other people’s time; and choosing the right technique for each session (e.g., brainstorming a product idea, a linguistic analysis of a text).

The role of the Facilitator requires concentrating on what is going on in the meeting but not being so enclosed by it that they lose sight of what is going on outside. It also requires being able to move quickly from one group to another without losing touch with any particular group. This might be described as sustained multi-tasking—the ability to sustain mental activity over an extended period without becoming distracted or fatigued.” [5]

In 1991 Edward de Bono started teaching his course ” How To Think At The Top Of Your Intelligence ” at Cambridge University, where he had been a faculty member for 35 years. Amongst the participants we find Rt Hon Michael Howard MP, Secretary of State for Employment and MP at the time of writing (1994). [6]

In this particular course de Bono presents a large number of people with six different mental models for thinking, which he claims will allow them to achieve results beyond their normal capacity:

1) The Rhombus Model – Visualising your thoughts

2) The Chessboard Model – Organising your thoughts & making decisions

3) The Bridge Model – Connecting ideas together so new ones can be generated

4) The Six Hat Racks Method – Thinking in different modes e.g. Context/Facts/Action etc. so you can solve the right problem

5) The Six Sides of Every Square – Thinking about your thinking and understanding your own mental models for solving problems so you can change them and think even better

6) The Thinker’s Hat – Turning the normal structure upside down to generate creative thoughts.

So let us summarise what these 6 models are:

1) Six Thinking Hats (Six Models for changing our way of thinking), developed by Edward de Bono.

2) Lateral Thinking (Using patterns of thought to break up fixed ideas).

3) Paradigm Shifts (Exploring alternative approaches and considering multiple dimensions).

4) Conceptual Blending (Combining existing concepts or ideas together to make something new).

5) Muddling Up Ideas (Mixing up information until it becomes unclear how it could ever have been separate).

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6) Emergent Knowledge (Allowing knowledge to come together in new ways).

7) Dialectic Thinking – Developed by Christopher Biffle, this model is based on the works of Hegel and Marx. A dialectic approach consists of four stages: orientation, thesis, antithesis and synthesis. It involves a three-way conversation about an idea rather than two-person opposition between two people.

8) Gervais Principle (The Dilbert Principle): “the most ineffective workers are systematically moved to the place where they can do the least damage – management”. According to Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert , under qualified employees are promoted above more competent employees because they will only pose a threat if they were at a higher level. pointclickcarecna

9) Homunculus Fallacy: a condescending metaphor, a little person inside our brain that watches what we do and controls our actions. It is often used to describe the conflict between determinism and free will .

10) Reduction ad Hitlerum: an argument where someone tries to win an argument by comparing people he doesn’t like with Adolf Hitler or the Nazis. In the form of Argumentum ad Nazium this fallacy is even protected by law in Austria , France , Germany and Switzerland .

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